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Posted: June 19, 2013 4:29 p.m.

Ralston says changes to Ga. forfeiture law needed

 

ATLANTA (AP) — House Speaker David Ralston says changes are needed to Georgia's forfeiture law to increase accountability and transparency.

Ralston said in an interview Wednesday that recent reports of questionable spending by two local agencies have generated a significant amount of interest in how the government handles money and property seized during investigations. Ralston says he'll consider discussing legislation on the issue next year.

A Republican state lawmaker earlier this year withdrew a bill that would have made it harder to seize property after meeting resistance from elected sheriffs, who argue existing law is sufficient to protect the public.

Putnam County Sheriff Howard Sills, president of the Georgia Sheriffs Association, says the focus should be on enforcing current rules requiring law enforcement agencies to submit spending reports and investigating those that don't.

 
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